March 16, 2021

Welcoming patients in different languages

Our patient experience team have been hard at work over the past year to develop the new Northern Health Welcome Pack.

The packs are available at each bedside across our sites and available online to provide important information for patients and visitors coming to Northern Health.

Included in the packs is information regarding visiting, patient rights and responsibilities, privacy and confidentiality, medical emergencies, preparing to leave hospital and how to provide feedback to us.

The packs have been developed with significant input with consumers, to ensure they are easy for patients to read and understand.

The new pack takes into consideration situations like the COVID-19 pandemic where visiting restrictions may apply, and directs patients and families to the latest updates on the Northern Health website.

Paula Murray, Health Literacy Coordinator, explained the importance of these new packs for patients and visitors.

“The Welcome Packs are a mandatory requirement for hospitals to provide to all patients. We have worked hard to ensure the information is useful and helpful, outlining the essential information that people may need,” Paula said.

“The packs have had input from a huge range of staff, and in particular the Standard 2 Committee and Patient Experience team, as well as Public Affairs who designed the fresh new look. Many staff also spent time in the evenings and weekends laminating and collating the packs – a real team effort!” Paula explained.

A unique aspect of the development of the new Welcome Packs is that they have been translated into the top languages in our catchment area by our dedicated Transcultural and Language Services (TALS) team.

Greek Interpreter, Lina, with patient, James, with the new Welcome Pack translated in Greek

A significant amount of work has been done by the TALS team in collaboration with the patient experience team to ensure our diverse community are able to receive important information about our services in their own language.

“The Welcome Pack allows patients to familiarise themselves with their hospital journey, and facilitates their care, so that they can return home safely as soon as possible,” explained Emiliano Zucchi, Director of Transcultural & Language Services (TALS) and Narrun Wilip-giin Aboriginal Support Unit (ASU).

“The northern catchment is one of the most culturally diverse in Melbourne, having the Welcome Pack available in our top 10 languages allows all communities to have equitable access to culturally safe health care services,” Emiliano said.

Click here to view the new Welcome Packs!